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Is this an ingrown hair, or a wart or herpes?
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Is this an ingrown hair, or a wart or herpes?

I am a 20-year-old girl in a monogamous relationship. I haven't seen him in 2 months (and I haven't been cheating) but I noticed an odd ingrown-hair-like thing on one of my outer labia.  The only reason why it concerned me (since I shave my pubic hair sometimes and ingrown hairs are common on my sensitive skin) is because it's larger than my other ingrown hairs.  poking at it has made it bigger (about 3-4 times the size of a normal ingrown hair).  It seems to be broken in the middle from my picking at it, but it doesn't hurt or itch.  it only hurts when I poke at it more.

1.) I doubt it is herpes because herpes, when coming in sores, usually comes in clusters, plus, if it's a herpes sore it would probably itch and crust over and it would hurt to pee.  My gyno says that if you have herpes sores, they don't go unnoticed.  It also doesn't look like herpes pictures I have seen on the net.
2.) I doubt it is a genital wart because when I scratched at it, it sort of opened up in the middle and bled like a pimple would when you pick at it.  I've had a wart on my foot before and it never reacted like that.  Plus it's soft, not hard, and I've seen pictures of genital warts that look nothing like it.
So this could lead me to believe that it's just an ingrown hair, but what concerns me is the size of it.  There are several hairs growing out of it and around it.  it doesn't hurt during the day, so I didn't notice until I decided to look down there.  I know that when I masturbate it is located right where my thumbnail usually is, and I'm thinking it might be an irritation from masturbating a few times a week with long fingernails.  but even so I am worried.  But because I have OCD I am pretty sure my parents will not let me get a test, plus I am afraid my boyfriend will leave me and think that I cheated on him, which I didn't.  What really bothers me is that I've had a large ingrown hair in a similar spot before, about 2 months ago, which went away after about a week.
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Welcome to the STD forum.  Responding first to the title you chose for your question, these things -- wart, herpes, ingrown hair -- really can't be confused with one another.  If you have had one of these conditions and what you have now looks similar, you can be pretty confident it is the same thing this time.

Now I have read the question itself.  The terminology for an infected ingrown is folliculitis, i.e. hair folliicle infection.  I'll go directly to your numbered points.

1) I agree with your reasoning against herpes.

2) And I agree with your reasoning about warts.

The size of a folliculitis lesions doesn't mean anything except for severity of the lesion.  Since this problem apparently has been a recurrent one for you, you should see a health care provider about it.  You might be carrying staph or strep and could benefit from an antibiotic.  You also should consider stopping the shaving, at least for a few weeks -- but after you see a provider, follow his or her advice about that part.  You also can ask him or her to confirm that these lesions don't suggest herpes or warts.  But in the meantime, from your description I wouldn't worry about those possibilities.

I hope this helps.  Best wishes--  HHH, MD
6 Comments
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239123_tn?1267651214
By the way, another clue in favor of folliculitis is that herpes and warts generally don't occur in hairy areas, i.e. the pubic area or hairy parts of the labia major.
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Thank you.  I just don't like how enormous it is but it is good to know that's irrelevant.  It's just like a huge pimple.  Also, I rarely get sick and I don't really get ingrown hairs more often than anyone else who shaves their pubic hair, but I also have really sensitive skin in general and always have.  Are there any other signs to whether I would have staph or strep? I hadn't even thought of that.  And is it bad that I had previously had a similar thing in the same place?
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239123_tn?1267651214
Recurrent folliculitis often is due to staph or strep.  There are no particular signs.  Occurence in the same place probably doesn't mean anything.

In any case, it's not an STD, so I won't have anything more to say in this forum.  But feel free to report back after you have seen a health care provider about it.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I just started birth control pills (28 pills) a week ago for the first time, the side effects I am presenting are dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and few days ago two lumps in my pelvis appeared and they hurt when I touch them. I am worried about the cause Is it the pill? Is it glands? or ingrown hair? they are not the size of a pimple, they are a bit bigger than that. HELP!!!
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239123_tn?1267651214
This is not an STD question.  Talk to the doctor who prescribed the pills.  This thread is over.
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Avatar_f_tn
I shaved about a week ago in my vaginal area. I used my boyfriends razor that he uses for his face. It pricked me when I started to shave, safe to assume it was a dull razor. About 4 days after a red swollen bump appeared, quite large though. I did pop it and then yellow stuff iced out the next it was enormous I popped it again and then a ball of blood came out. It then ozed again it grew infected. I went to dr she drained it gave me an ointment and is running a culture. She didn't say what is was though I'm very worried and concerned as it is still there but now scanned over
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